As a user of several brands of web analytics tools here at SharePoint Pro, I can tell you that the truth of page views and visit times, as revealed by cold, hard data, can be humbling.  

Yet that data is crucial and definitely insightful.

As they say these days, the data will set you free. This is especially so when implementing SharePoint.

I recently saw a demo of Webtrends Analytics for SharePoint. Rather than simply taking at face value users’ complaints or praise, you can actually see what they did with SharePoint, thanks to Webtrends’ SharePoint-specific analytics solution.

The tool reveals how individuals and offices are using your organization’s SharePoint environment. For example, you can see top SharePoint sites, top publishers, top documents, Web Parts by page views, and much more, slicing and dicing data to gain the deepest insights about SharePoint usage.

Microsoft itself uses the Webtrends product on its SharePoint sites. The solution supports SharePoint 2013 as well as Office 365. And it addresses one of the biggest pain points around SharePoint: user adoption.

“Adoption is the most common issue with SharePoint,” said Loren Johnson, senior product manager at Webtrends. And, of course, we’ve all seen the many and varied best practices that abound around SharePoint adoption: Get people on the team to be peer trainers, use a small team, involve the right stakeholders.

Still, says Johnson, “Measurement is the sunlight that lights it all up.”

Distilled below, tips for successful SharePoint adoption rely on two important factors--people and data:

People. Know the use cases for SharePoint in your organization. HR needs it for the right documents and workflows; corporate communication needs it to ensure compliance; IT works with it and touches the entire company.

Takeaway #1: Get those people accepting it and the rest of the company will follow.

Data. What constitutes successful adoption to your company? Identify corporate goals, then map success metrics to analytics that support those goals. Don’t make the mistake of bringing in an analytics tool after the fact—use it from day one to establish a baseline to measure for ROI.

Takeaway #2: At launch, make sure analytics are already in place, to measure from the beginning and set a baseline.   

The SharePoint web analytics tool is licensed based on CALs. To learn more, see the Webtrends site.